Walking across the parking lot, I couldn’t believe it. The weather was hot, but there was a dog peering out at me from the backseat of a parked car. With his dark black hair, he was surely already feeling the heat. He poked his nose out of the window crack. If this were a gas station, I might possibly understand an owner leaving their pet this way. But this was the movie theater!
Sound familiar? Hopefully not, but dogs and other pets are left in hot cars all too often. Transitional months in the spring can also pose risks because people underestimate how hot it can get. Most pet owners would never leave their dog in a car for hours, but even a few minutes is risky.
Cars can get hot very quickly. Temperatures inside a car are often about 20 degrees higher than the air outside. On your balmy 78 degree spring day, it is nearly 100 degrees inside your car. Heatstroke is very serious and can cause entirely preventable deaths. A chart showing specific temperatures during the day can be found at www.mydogiscool.com, along with other important pet safety information.
And just in case you were worried, another concerned pet-lover called the police on the movie-going culprits. They were pulled out of the theater and sent home.
What do you think? Would you ever leave your dog in the car for just a few minutes, for a while, or NEVER at all? What’s your policy and what would you recommend? Share your personal opinion in the comments below.